With holidays festivities behind us for another year, 2018 is upon us and this year looks like it's going to be a big one for Hollywood. With highly-anticipated sequels, long-awaited returns, major adaptations and franchise conclusions on the way, it's safe to say that we'll be visiting the movie theaters a lot in 2018.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the most anticipated movies of the year, and why we're all looking forward to them.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
The first big-budget flick this year will be the final chapter in the Maze Runner franchise. Maze Runner: The Death Cure was originally intended to hit theaters last year, but actor Dylan O' Brien's on-set injury resulted in the release date being pushed back. So, with the extra year-long wait, not to mention the fact that this is the final installment of the popular franchise, it's clear to see why fans are looking forward to this one.
Fifty Shades Freed
Much like its two predecessors, Fifty Shades Freed will hit theaters just in time for Valentine's Day, and will give us an insight into what married life is like for Mr and Mrs. Grey. Moreover, as this film marks the conclusion of the Fifty Shades franchise, you can rest assured that fans will be eager to see how Ana and Christian's story ends.
It wouldn't be a new year without new Marvel movies to look forward to. And Black Panther will be the first of the MCU's explosive 2018 entries. Set after Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther will shine the spotlight firmly on T'Challa and his kingdom of Wakanda.
With a strong cast featuring the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Guirira, Angela Bassett and Andy Serkis, all of whom have the captivating world of Wakanda to explore, Black Panther is more than worthy of being this year's first superhero blockbuster.
The world's most famous video game character will make an action-packed return to the big screen in this year's Tomb Raider reboot. Alicia Vikander takes over from Angelina Jolie to portray Lara Croft, leading the character's first cinematic adventure in over 15 years.
Tomb Raider will draw inspiration from Crystal Dynamics' critically acclaimed reboot of the game series, giving us more insight into Lara's younger days.
In what could be the biggest young adult hit of the year, Love, Simon a high-profile YA adaptation led by Nick Robinson, who has made a name for himself as the leading man in YA adaptations since starring in Jurassic World. Based on the acclaimed novel Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, the dramedy focuses on closeted gay teen Simon Spier (Robinson) and his struggles to come out amidst the social demands of high school. Love, Simon could very well introduce us to a new wave of LGBTQ-themed YA films.
Ready Player One
Another of this year's major YA releases, Ready Player One is based on the acclaimed novel by Ernest Cline and is directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Tye Sheridan, the film is set in a near-dystopian future in which people spend most of their time hooked up to the virtual reality known as OASIS. When the founder of OASIS dies, players race to find a hidden treasure that will give the winner ownership of the vast virtual playground.
Avengers: Infinity War
In a film that Marvel fans have been eagerly anticipating for a very long time, Avengers: Infinity War will see the titular superheroes joining forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to finally confront Thanos, the long-developed MCU Big Bad.
With the biggest cast of superheroes imaginable, the MCU's second outing of the year just may be Marvel's most successful yet. After the first two Avengers movies broke box office records, we should expect big things for this one.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
It's safe to say that any film with the Star Wars tag attached to has a bright future, and that's exactly what we should expect for Solo: A Star Wars Story, even with the film's much-discussed behind the scenes drama in mind. The second of the franchise's standalone prequels, the film takes place before the first Star Wars movie and focuses on a young Han Solo's adventures with Chewbacca.
With Alden Ehrenreich portraying the legendary character and a strong supporting cast featuring Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Thandie Newton, we should expect this film to be flying solo... to the top of the box office.
When Deadpool exploded onto the box office scene in 2016, nobody could have known that it would go on to become the most successful R-rated movie of all time. Once it did, it was no surprise to hear that the fast-talking, foul-mouthed antihero would be returning for a sequel.
With almost all of the first film's main cast returning and the highly-anticipated introduction of Josh Brolin's Cable, Deadpool 2 may just give its predecessor a run for its money.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
When Jurassic World obliterated the competition at the box office in 2015, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. And this year, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will finally roar its way into theaters. With both Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt returning to save the dinosaurs from extinction, the stakes couldn't be any higher.
With the success of its predecessor and the legacy of Jurassic Park to live up to, you can rest assured that Fallen Kingdom will indeed be a spectacle of epic proportions.
Hollywood's most iconic hunter will make an epic return this year in Shane Black's The Predator. While the plot has been kept under wraps, we do know that this one will be more of an event film compared to previous outings. Furthermore, with a strong cast and a unique suburban setting, the film promises to be a worthy entry in the legendary franchise. After a near decade-long absence from theaters, it's safe to say that hopes are high for the Predator's return.
Venom will shine the spotlight on one of Spider-Man's richest characters, as it re-introduces moviegoers to Eddie Brock, played in significantly different form by Topher Grace in 2007's Spider-Man 3. Brock becomes host to a powerful shape-shifting alien symbiote, which enhances Brock's own unstable emotions, bringing the terrifying Venom to life. With Tom Hardy playing the conflicted and unpredictable character, we should all be expecting great things from the inaugural film in Sony's Marvel Universe.
Everyone's favorite holiday-hating meanie will return to the big screen this year when Universal's The Grinch hits theaters in November. Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the small-hearted greenie in this 3D computer-animated retelling of the Dr. Seuss classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
This may not be the first time that the moody Grinch has donned an ill-fitting Santa suit during the holidays, but with both the animated TV special and the big budget film holding a special place in our festive hearts, it's easy to see why we're eagerly awaiting his return this year.
After making his presence felt and his jovial voice heard in Justice League, Jason Mamoa's Arthur Curry will headline his own adventure in Aquaman this Christmas. As only the third solo film in DC's Extended Universe, all eyes will be on the aquatic warrior to see how his outing will live up to the universally acclaimed Wonder Woman. Moreover, given that Aquaman will be a late arrival this year, not to mention the franchise's only release in 2018, fans will be eager to get their DCEU fix.
Mary Poppins Returns
We have waited over 54 years for the world's greatest nanny to make her return to the big screen, but that wait ends when Mary Poppins Returns arrives on Christmas Day. Taking hold of the umbrella from Julie Andrews, Emily Blunt will portray the singing caregiver alongside an all-star cast featuring Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and the returning Dick Van Dyke. It will take more than a spoonful of sugar to make the excitement for this one go down. Let's just hope that it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Whether you're a superhero fan or a love story-addict, it won't be hard to find a film for you this year. 2018's film line-up is one of the most exciting in recent memory, and with so many major releases on the horizon, it's going to be a busy year for moviegoers.